Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Protecting Your Rugs from the Winter Weather
Take Your Shoes Off – And Encourage Guests To Do So!
We all want to create a relaxing, fun environment in our home, which is why implementing a no-shoes-in-the-house rule can make some of us feel uncomfortable at first. However, it’s the best and easiest way to protect your rugs, carpet and hardwood from winter dirt and moisture – and there are ways to avoid making it a big deal! Make it easy for your guests by providing storage space for their shoes by the front door as well as a beautiful bench for them to sit on while they remove their shoes. You may choose to put a clever sign by the door encouraging guests to remove their shoes, but most people are able to rely on contextual cues – are there shoes by the door? Are other people wearing shoes? – and follow suit accordingly. Providing slippers for household members and visitors is an extra cozy treat that will encourage people to help protect your floors while making your guests feel like royalty.
Because pets don’t have shoes to remove, wipe down their feet before they enter the house. Keep a towel by the door just for this purpose so you never have to try to keep your pet corralled while you hunt one down, or designate just one door – like the basement, laundry room, or back door – as the pet entrance.
When people ignore the shoes-off rule or are just too lazy to pull off their boots in the foyer (do you have teenagers?), welcome mats are an effective way to protect your rugs from the winter weather. Most people have mats either inside or outside their exterior doors, but the best way to protect your home is to use mats on both sides of each exterior door. This includes the door that opens from your heated space into your garage and from your garage to the outdoors. Mats collect excess dirt, which can cause friction to develop between rug fibers when tracked inside the house. Mats also absorb moisture, which causes deterioration over time.
Check the Humidity
While winter may be stormy, the cooler, drier air can cause hard flooring materials like wood and bamboo to contract. The wider openings in the cracks between floorboards can be magnets for dirt, moisture and bacteria. If you use rugs, that dirt and moisture will then transfer to the rug. To prevent those cracks from developing, maintain an appropriate level of moisture in your home. Using a humidifier regularly can prevent flooring materials from constricting. However, don’t overdo it; you don’t want your rugs to grow mildew from too much moisture – and it goes without saying that too much humidity won’t be very comfortable for humans, either.
Start With Clean Rugs!
Here’s one of our favorite tricks: if you begin with clean floors, you’re more likely to want to keep them that way. So treat yourself and have your rugs professionally cleaned at the beginning of the season by the experts at Augusta RugWorks. We promise you won’t want to keep your boots on when you see the beautiful condition of your newly pristine rug! After your rug is cleaned, keep dirt to a minimum by mopping and vacuuming regularly.
Even though snow and slush isn’t a huge issue for homes in Augusta, other factors like cold air, moisture, mud, and heavier shoes do tend to pose a burden on your home’s flooring. So do yourself a favor and take just a few simple steps to stay clean this winter – your rugs will thank you!